"You gonna play any FTOPS events?" said Pauly through a scratchy cell phone connection. It was raining hard in New York and the way our connection bobbed and fizzed, it sounded like it was raining in the phone.
"No, probably not. Gonna hang onto the money I've got on there."
"Yeah, and the only one I'd want to play is the first one and that's like, tomorrow."
"Well I'll put you in."
"Seriously?" (Did he just say that, or was it a rouge crackle?)
"Yeah. Ride the hot horse, you know?"
So, along with 4,165 other donkeys, I played FTOPS Event #1 tonight courtesy of a stake from Pauly and was pretty pleased with how I played. The total prize pool topped out at $833,000 well eclipsing the $500,000 guarantee. I jotted a few notes down while I played and will share them with you here. Though things started off very smoothly, the going got much rougher when I was moved to an aggressive table of big stacks and short stacks in the third hour.
6:00 PM 3,000. First can of Diet Coke is cracked as we shuffle up and deal.
6:20 PM 3,100. Re-raised a weak-tight LP raiser with Q-Q from the SB. Best hand I've had so far-- nothing else has connected with the board in any way.
6:45 PM 2,490. A-K just missed for the third time. Can't hit a flop to save my life. The guy on my left is more tricky and aggressive than I'd like in a guy on my left.
6:56 PM 2,600. Made a straight on the turn in multi-way pot with 4c-6c from the BB, but didn't get any action.
6:57 PM 3,150. Q-Q in the SB on very next hand. The hijack opened for 180, I made it 480, he called. 8-8-7 flop with two hearts. I bet 660 and he folded.
1st break 3,150. Ordering Chinese food.
7:08 PM I think my iPod is dead. It keeps showing a sad iPod face despite my attempts to get it into disk mode. Visions of standing in line at the Century City Apple Store are dancing in my head while I fold trash hands.
7:10 PM Some guy calledTHAY9R is in the observer chat on my table trying to get the attention of another guy called Richb5 who apparently owes him money. I tried (briefly) to help him out.
THAY9R (Observer): RICH this is disgraceful
THAY9R (Observer): can someone tell him to turn on chat
change100: turn on your chat rich
THAY9R (Observer): pitiful
change100: yeah, sorry man
THAY9R (Observer): no integrity what so ever
THAY9R (Observer): Rich have some courage an andwer me
THAY9R (Observer): RICH THAY9R (Observer): grow a pair
a_good_year: having a hot pocket right now... good stuff
THAY9R (Observer): RICH?
7:15 PM SHIP IT HOLLA! I raise to 240 from the hijack with T-T, the SB makes it 720, I go for it and call 480 more. Flop is T-7-8. He shoves for 1,940, I insta-call and it holds up, cracking his kings. I am repeatedly called a fish as he hits the rail. 5,770.
7:18 PM 5,850. Poker is fun when you hit flops. The SB completes, I check with Q-To. Flop Q-8-5. A bet of 120 takes it down after the SB checks.
7:26 PM First "go fuck yourself" of the night uttered in chat when the guy on my left gets bad beat. Opponent rivers bigger boat on him after he flops a set and turns a full house. The funny thing is, he lost about the minimum he could on the hand and still has 4,200 left! I have to get at least crippled to go off like that.
7:28 PM Chinese food arrives! Jamie Gold has his blueberries... I have braised string beans in garlic sauce.
7:35 PM 5,120. Saw a flop with 4-4. It wasn't a very good one.
7:37 PM 5,300. A raise with 5-5 gets me some blinds.
7:43 PM 4,940. I raise it up to 360 from MP with 6-6, button calls, BB calls. A-Q-T flop is perhaps the worst I could hope for and I drop it when the BB leads for 900.
7:49 PM 5,420. Ah-Jh in EP. Raise to 480, cutoff calls. A-7-8 rainbow flop. A bet of 750 takes it down.
7:57 PM 6,148. I raise to 480 from EP with A-Q. BB goes all in for 888, I call 408 more. I'm racing with J-J. Kc 4c 6d flop, 6c turn, I river the Qd! I am a lucksack.
7:59 PM. iTunes just shuffled to Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. Schecky would be horrified.
8:04 PM 5,148. CO raises to 600, I see a flop from the BB with Jh-Th Flop is A-K-J rainbow. Shoulda re-popped him pre-flop instead and I check-fold to his 1,100 bet. (This is the hand I'll end up wondering the most about).
8:06 PM Chip Jett is the current chip leader with 27,166. You know, he has a lot less hair than you might think.
2nd break. 5,148. 1,922 players remaining of 4,165 starters. I need to get high now.
8:15 PM. Cards back in the air. Ante in effect. Third can of Diet Coke cracked.
8:21 PM 5,198. Stole blinds with the hammer! Weeeeeee.
8:24 PM 5,048. First table change. I was just getting to like those guys. Some dude called ArgentinaBoy with a Gold FTOPS champion avatar is on my right, but is shortstacked.
8:30 PM 4,923. Card dead. My M is 8.4. Approaching need-to-make-a-move time. Though, there are 4 stacks smaller than mine on this table... oops make that 3, one just doubled up.
8:32 PM 7,173. MP raises to 840, I make it 2,200 with A-Q. He calls. I push for 2,153 on 6-5-6 flop. My heart beats out of my chest. He folds!! Dude tilts the rest off in the next hand moving over the top of a button raise with K-J. The button calls with A-K and he's gone, daddy gone.
8:37 PM 5,663. I open from MP for 840 with Ks-Jh, guy on my left moves in for 4,000, I give it up.
8:41 PM 1,351 players remaining. 585 get paid.
8:42 PM 5,088. FUUUCK. UTG moves all in for 3,200. MP pushes all in for12,000. I have A-K offsuit. Aii fucking yaa. I fold like a pussy thinking I'm racing or beat by the big stack. UTG has A-3, MP has A-K and it holds up. Good decision?
8:44 PM. I hate a table full of shorties and big stacks. They're impossible to steal from. Where are the average guys? I know they're out there. Can you move some of them over here please?
8:47 PM. M=6. I need something of a hand sooner rather than later.
8:49 PM 6,718. Ask and ye shall receive. ArgentinaBoy makes it 1,020 from the cutoff. I move in for 4,300 with Ad-Td from the button and he folds. On the next hand I take the blinds with K-Q. Then get dealt A-Jo, but a tight player moves in for 4,500 from EP and I dump it. I'm looking a bit healthier than I was 5 minutes ago, but I still only have 2/3 of average.
8:53 PM 5,943. Dodged a bullet. Same tight guy made it 1,200 and I folded 5-5 in the SB, not wanting to call 1,200 or make the all in reraise with that hand. BB called and made a flush on the turn with his Ah-7h, cracking EP's K-K.
8:55 PM. 4,543. Raised to 1,300 from cutoff with Qs-Ts, button moved in for 10,000. I fold like a pussy. Blind steals are impossible from my seat, must rely more on re-steals. Though really it's just push and pray for me at this point with the blinds at 200-400/50.
8:58 PM. This ArgentinaBoy apparently has quite a fanbase. Lots of spanish speakers are stopping by in chat.
9:00 PM Greg "FBT" Mueller is our current chip leader with 47,028. 1,038 players remaining.
9:05 PM. It's over. At least for me it is. It's folded around to ArgentinaBoy in SB. He's very aggressive and I know he's raising over 50% of his hands in this spot and he of course does, opening for 1,500. I move all in for 4K with K-T, he calls in a shot with Q-Q. I get a K on the flop... but it's accompanied by a Q. Heartbreak city.
And that's it. Out in 973rd place. At least I played well, outlasted over 75% of the field, and didn't donk it all off in the first hour. The only other blogger I saw in there when I busted was Hoy, who had about 25,000 last I saw. I'm sure you can head over to his blog and hear about how well he did. I'm sure he'll have lots more screen shots too ;) Here' s the only one I took, after cracking kings with tens.
A bong, a TiVo'ed episode of the World Poker Tour, and some sleep await me now.